I have a feeling that even people who aren’t fond of snakes
can’t help feeling kindly towards a cute little snake of green. I found this Rough Green Snake when I
revisited the Sycamore that yielded so many caterpillars a couple of weeks ago.
It was caterpillars that I was actually looking for. At the time of the snake discovery, I was
taking a close look at this Drab Prominent caterpillar.
I lifted my eyes from the caterpillar and on a branch just a
few feet away was the snake. Green Snakes are insect eaters and hairless caterpillars are readily consumed. The snake and I may have been looking in this tree for the same reason.
The Rough Green Snake is the only species of green snake
likely to be in this area. Even so, on
the rare occasions that I find one of these snakes, I like to verify the ID by
checking the scales on the snake’s back.
The scales of the Rough Green Snake are divided by a slight ridge. The ridges align to form faint stripes
running the length of the snake. They
also give the snake its rough feel that earned it its name.
This snake is typically found in the trees and is remarkably
adept at moving about through the branches.
It must have remarkable balance and muscle control.
It moves along a narrow branch as if it were traversing
If it desires a higher elevation, it just lifts its head and
It’s like a snake mime hitting an invisible wall.
The head just continues to ascend.
Finally the snake connects with the petiole of a grape leaf
and begins to slide its body along the narrow stem.
The diameter of the grape vine is smaller than that of the
snake, but the snake proceeds along this new avenue without complication.
Located in the Bluegrass region of Southern Ohio, Blue Jay Barrens contains excellent xeric habitat inhabited by a wide variety of rare native plant and animal species. Since 1985, this private property has been managed to improve the integrity of the special ecosystems found here. This blog provides information on the current activities at Blue Jay Barrens.
RESPONSE TO COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS BLOG
It’s my intent to share information on current events at Blue Jay Barrens. Unless otherwise noted in the text, all photos were taken by me at Blue Jay Barrens.
Plant scientific names are from Gleason and Cronquist 1991. I realize that some changes in preferred nomenclature have occurred, but this is the principle reference I have been using for flora identification. Knowing this, I believe most people can figure out just what plant I’m talking about.
My discussions of flora and fauna are not intended to be a complete life history. There are plenty of good references for this type of information. I am discussing my personal experiences with plants and animals on this specific property. Any other information I may provide is intended to help you understand the significance of my observations.
1- Of Mosquitoes, Moths and Mice, by C Brooke Worth. 2- Mosquito Safari: A Naturalist in Southern Africa, by C Brooke Worth. 3- A Naturalist in Trinidad, by C Brooke Worth.
MY 3 FAVORITE FICTION BOOKS:
1- The Witches of Karres by James H Schmitz 2- The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham 3- The Windhover Tapes (1st 3 volumes) by Warren Norwood
MY 3 FAVORITE MOVIES:
1- Vanishing Point 1971 with Barry Newman 2- Flim Flam Man 1967 with George C Scott - also like the book by Guy Owens 3- The Lathe Of Heaven 1979 with Bruce Davison - also like the book by Ursula K LeGuin
MY 3 FAVORITE TV SHOWS:
1- The Prisoner with Patrick McGoohan 2- Fawlty Towers with John Cleese 3- Kolchak: The Night Stalker with Darren McGavin